Why Coco Martin apologized to PNP over fictional ‘Ang Probinsyano’ TV series

November 16, 2018 - 4:46 PM
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Coco Martin in Ang Probinsyano
Main starrer of "Ang Probinsyano" issues an apology to the Philippine National Police. (Philstar.com/file photo)

Kapamilya actor Coco Martin had apologized to the Philippine National Police after it claimed that the current story of “Ang Probinsyano” was offensive and damaging to its reputation.

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde had previously cried foul over the police force being misrepresented in its narrative while Secretary Eduardo Año of Interior and Local Government thinks the production team should change the show’s plot entirely.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former police chief, sided with Albayalde’s claims. Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, pointed out that the series is only fictional.

A developing tale

Martin posted on Instagram an image of the disclaimer aired in every episode. He captioned it with: “Pasensya na po!”

View this post on Instagram

Pasensya na po!

A post shared by Coco Martin (@mr.cocomartin) on

The disclaimer, which was also brought up in ABS-CBN’s statement to Albayalde, tells viewers that the characters and events shown are all fictitious.

Martin apologized again in an interview with ABS-CBN. He added that he hoped to talk to Albayalde personally to discuss his concerns in the future.

“Dahil bago ang PNP chief natin, nauunawaan naman namin ang nararamdaman nila. Ako mismo ang humihingi ng paumanhin sa nangyayari ngayon,” Martin said.

However, he considered that Albayalde, being only appointed to the post last April, may have misconstrued it this way because the current arc featured police officials as antagonists.

In its three-year run, the character’s roles have changed, Martin explained, as the story itself is developing.

“Siguro nagkataon lang na bumaligtad yung kwento. Mahaba pa kasi yung kwento. Mahaba pa yung lalakbayin ng kwento,” Martin said.

His character, Cardo Dalisay, started out as a police officer who dedicated his life to fight crime. There are also mainly good cops in the former seasons of “Ang Probinsyano.”

The roles changed as the series progressed, wherein Dalisay now allies with a rebel group called “Vendetta” while being pursued by President Lucas Cabrera (Edu Manzano) and PNP chief Alejandro Terante (Soliman Cruz).

Martin recognized how much the PNP had contributed in making the series possible.

“Sa simula’t simula, sila (the police) yung gumabay at sumuporta samin sa pagbuo ng Ang Probinsyano,” he said.

Change plot to favor PNP

The plot of the series has to be rewritten, according to Año, as the one being aired damages the morale of the police force.

In an interview, he said that it’s possible for viewers to develop a negative impression of the entire organization even if only a fictional leader is portrayed as bad.

“Kahit part lang ng segment ay ‘yung buong organization ay masama, ang namumuno ay masama, ang laki ng epekto sa mga nanonood no’n. Hindi natin gusto ipatigil, gusto nating baguhin ‘yung kanilang plot,” he said.

For the former military chief, such representation is unfair to the good cops.

“It affects the morale of the PNP (Philippine National Police), especially those who are doing good in their job. Tinataya nila ang buhay nila diyan para mai-save kung sino man ‘yung ise-save,” Año said.

The PNP had been conducting an “internal cleansing” to rid its ranks of abusive personnel or “scalawags” since last year.

In November 2018, a senior officer was arrested for allegedly raping a rookie policewoman in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Creative license in fiction

Artists in general are given the freedom to produce or create any form of output, whether it be a novel or a painting, through the concept called artistic or creative license.

Based on ThoughtCo, an education-related website, artistic license “means an artist is accorded leeway in his or her interpretation of something and is not held strictly accountable for accuracy.”

Even during the time of Shakespeare and Leonardo Da Vinci, artists have been criticized for lack of accuracy in their works.

Fictional stories still need to be as believable and logical as possible, according to Accomplish Press, a coaching website for writers.

“If one of your characters is dealing with a medical condition that you haven’t personally experienced, it will require you to research and find out as much as possible about the condition, and how it affects not only the individual going through it, but also the people around him or her,” the article stated.

Jasmine Curtis-Smith, an actress-model from GMA, expressed on Twitter her frustration on authorities wanting shows, amid being fictional, to go in their favor.